Pressure Cooker

pressure-cooker-breville-settings-02592-630This is a story about an apartment, a wedding, a job, and a guy, and the 6 weeks of straight up insanity that ensued. I would like to state for the record that, at the time, all of this seemed like a very good idea and if the results are to be believed, not a bad choice among them. Still – did I make a lot of ridculous, rash, impetuous, and downright ballsey decision all made in the name of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Why don’t I tell the story and you can decide for yourself.

I guess if I could point to what really started it all, I’d have to start with The Apartment. 

The apartment I moved into after moving out of my Dad’s was how I started my year. I had looked at three other places before landing on mine, a small converted victorian apartment in the heart of the Haight/Ashbury with two other women close to my age. The vibe felt right, the timing couldn’t have been better, and even though it didn’t meet all the things I had been looking for in an apartment I was grateful to find a place so easily.

The thing about moving into a new place though is that you get a brief peek at the physical space you’ll be living and maybe about thirty minutes with the people who you’ll actually be living with and the next thing you know you’re moving boxes into somewhere with essentially complete strangers. This was not necessarily a new experience for me, I had moved into small places with people I’d never met before, but in my haste to find a place I had ignored a few instincts that would have made the entire decision different.

It was a cozy place but endlessly dark outside of my roommates bedrooms, leaving my room, the kitchen, the bathroom, and hallway all without direct sunlight or natural light at all. While not having a living room wasn’t a deal breaker, my small space felt like a box I was constantly trapped in. City apartments, notorious for converting living rooms into extra bedrooms, are always surrounded by thin walls but the upstairs neighbors made it feel like I was roommates with 5 people and not 2 and were constantly elevating the noise level. And, while both my roommate were nice people in general, it wasn’t a good fit personality wise and it all started to build an anger in me so intense that I decided the best thing for me to do was to pack up my shit and find an alternative living situation.

So I gave notice. I gave notice and decided I was going to look for a new apartment without having said new apartment or anyplace else to live incase I didn’t find anything, which didn’t seem impossible with 4 weeks to look. Except I did not have 4 weeks to look because at the end of July was the biggest event I had ever had to help with – The Wedding.

My mother got engaged last summer, to her partner of two years. My mother having never been married, had decided that a giant wedding was exactly what she wanted and having our whole family present was a must, of course. But even though she had a year to plan it, my mother and all of her creative glory thought it best to start actually planning 5 months before despite my pleas to take things more seriously and also possibly elope. Between the amount of PTO I had, my hatred of Texas and my complicated feelings about the whole wedding in general it took a lot of extra strength to get it together and put my pressing life shit aside for the whole shindig. So, without much protest I dove head first into my Maid of Honor duties and tried my best to keep the four days worth of festivities running and operating on time. It wasn’t easy, especially considering mid way through the events I had to take a break because I was interviewing and preparing for The Job.

The job had been a long time in the making. Shortly before my year mark at my current place of employment I realized I was standing in a position with no growth and few avenues to take my career to the next level. I was bored, I was restless, and I was afraid that my career was stalling at a time when everyone else I knew was flourishing (and getting married and have babies too!). So I started looking with lots of interest and many phone interviews. But as the summer moved by I was making it to last rounds of interviews only to be told, “not at this time”, and “not quite a fit”. It was easy to get discouraged, especially on top of a pending move (that initially I wanted to take place AFTER a new job) but I kept at it and while each job had it’s pro’s and con’s I finally found one I was all in on, and now the pressure to make them realize I was the one for the job took front and center… Well center along with my mom’s wedding and, of course, not being homeless.

But because I’m a glutton for punishment, an explorer of stressful situations, and downright fucking nuts I decided to add a cherry onto my , “I’m just going to do this” sundae.

Que, The Guy.

Anyone who knows me knows it has been a rough year of dating. I spent the better half of 2016 being purposefully single only to crash head first back into the dating world with mixed reviews. It was all first dates and flirtatious text messages and more interesting stories than I even knew what to do with (my best friend suggests I write a book about it). As time went on it felt like everyone in my life had a personal stake and investment in my search to find someone who actually excited me. I mean fuck, I even guest hosted on a relationship and dating podcast and yet, nada.

Until I obviously gave up. As cliche as it sounds after a few week tryst with a guy who absolutely was the wrong guy for me I agreed to go on one more date, mostly to make sure I wasn’t somehow growing a tail that chased guys away. You can guess what happened next, and as much as I want to full on share every little detail about what makes this guy awesome, what makes him worth dating in the middle of all this madness, I won’t because right now it’s still in the incubator stage, the stage where we’ve created our own little bubble and have no interest in letting anyone in yet to ruin it (trust me, I have a hard enough time not ruining it myself to add other people’s opinions and judgments into the picture).

I will say one thing about why I like this guy so much…. When all of this was going on, the apartment, the wedding, the job, he supported me. He made me feel like I could do it, even if I already knew I could, in a way that made me feel like I wasn’t alone. To be able to do that and succeed within only a couple weeks of dating is something that, regardless of how things end up, will always mean so much to me.

So here we are. The end of this story is like you would imagine; I found an apartment, the wedding was beautiful, I got the job and the guy, yeah he’s still around. I don’t say this in a caviler way at all, rather the fact that I somehow pulled this off has been blowing my mind since Thursday. Of course a lot of this was exactly what an old Roman philosopher said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”. I was blessed with so many opportunities that had to open up to make this all happen but I was also prepared going in, knowing that in order to get through I would have to be fearless. Because if I wasn’t, if I had wavered in my commitment, disregard setback and loss faith in myself – well there wasn’t any room for that.

I was laminating on about how I couldn’t believe I pulled it all off to my supervisor when I told him I’d accepted another job and he said something that made a lot of sense. he said,

“This is just what adulting is, making choices, taking risks, and balancing it all at once.”

So that’s what I learned (you didn’t think I survived this all without learning a lesson did you?!). I learned that you have to take risk, put yourself in the pressure cooker if it means bettering yourself or the ones you love. I also realized what it means to be intentional with your thoughts and actions and of course, I learned to

Be fearless.